European Authorities Bust International Drug Gang That Bought Art to Launder Profits

European Authorities Bust International Drug Gang That Bought Art to Launder Profits
High Times

An international drug network shipping cocaine from Latin America, ketamine from Lithuania into the Netherlands, and cannabis smuggled from North Africa through Spain has just been busted by an operation conducted under the jurisdiction of Europol called Eurojust. Italy’s interior ministry said that they had issued warrants against 31 people—most of whom were Italian nationals. About $150,000 in cash as well as over 150 kilos of illicit drugs were also seized. The bank accounts of two transport companies were also commandeered as they had allegedly been used to launder money from the operations. The investigation began with the identification of two restauranteurs in Milan suspected of drug trafficking. Participants in the crime network attempted to hide their identities by using characters from films, literature and well-known artists including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Pinocchio, and even the street artist Banksy. The Future of Coordinated European Drug Busts in The Age of Legalization Authorities in Europe have not let up on drug investigations or busts, even on the eve of cannabis legalization in several countries. This includes three massive arrests in Spain over the last year. Indeed, Spanish authorities have identified Catalonia, home to Barcelona and the majority of Spain’s cannabis clubs, as the epicenter of Europe’s illegal weed market. Spain is also a major transit point for cocaine shipped in from Latin America and hash from Morocco. However, the situation allowing such coordination is unlikely to hold without some modification thanks to the movement of cannabis reform across Europe. Indeed, in Spain alone, both mega busts of the last 12 months were of farms spread out over many acres and in situations where the cultivators had previously told police that what they were doing was sanctioned (i.e. growing industrial hemp, which is legal in Spain). How will international police agencies in Europe be…

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Source : European Authorities Bust International Drug Gang That Bought Art to Launder Profits

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